Team Israel Start-Up Nation announced they will move towards a fully green fleet of hybrid and electric cars, starting with the Tour of Germany on August 26th. The team currently runs with 20 vehicles and in Germany this week the team is testing a Lexus UX 300e. They will also try a Skoda ENYAQ iv 80 before the end of the season.
“We want to take a stand and do our part to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a moral obligation, to lead by example,” said ISN’s team manager Kjell Carlstrom. “The ultimate goal is to become as green as the current technology will allow, taking into account the logistical constraints that come with running a cycling team. We want to gain experience and collect data that will help us begin the transformation next season.”
The issue with electric cars working as a team follow car is the range, and ability to charge the car. The Lexus ISN is using in Germany lasts about 400 km while the Skoda’s range is 529 km. For now, the test cars will be used by soigneurs to get to feed zones and to transport staff, but will not be used to follow the race.
“We are committed to using our sport and its immense popularity to promote positive social change,” said team co-owner Sylvan Adams. “This electric car initiative is intended to point the way towards a greener, more viable sport, and to encourage the same in our general society. Israel is a technological leader, so it is entirely appropriate that ISN is showing leadership in this and many other important social projects. ‘Racing for change’ is a philosophy, not just a slogan.”
ISN rider Mike Woods announced in early 2021 his intention to decrease his environmental impact. His goal was to have a carbon-neutral season by making necessary lifestyle changes and purchasing carbon offsets for unavoidable environmental impact. Woods in particular spoke highly of ISN’s goals, stating “this is a significant move in the WorldTour and thinking like this is going to help the sport of pro cycling become more environmentally friendly. I am very proud that my team is taking responsibility for its environmental impact and leading by example.”
ISN is not the first team to try out electric cars. In 2018 Tesla supplied cars for EF Education First-Drapac s/b Cannondale at the Tour of California.